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The Natural History of the Newspaper

Robert E. Park
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 29, No. 3 (Nov., 1923), pp. 273-289
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2764232
Page Count: 17
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The Natural History of the Newspaper
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Abstract

The natural history of the press is a history of a surviving species. It is one of the most characteristic frutits of enlightenment, due to the extension of the opportunities of education to the masses of the population. The modern newspaper is a product of city life; it is no longer merely an organ of propaganda and opinion, but a form of popular literature. The journal of opinion was largely a business man's newspaper. The so-called independent press added to its public the so-called artisan class. The yellow press was created mainly to capture immigrants, and women. It was this increase of circulation that made the newspaper-formerly a subsidized organ of the parties-an independent business enterprise, an envelope and carrier for advertising.

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